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What is Methamphetamine?
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Methamphetamines are very addictive stimulants and the structure of this drug is similar to amphetamines. Because there's such a high potential for abuse, meth is classified as a Schedule II drug and you can only legally get methamphetamine through prescription. Medical uses for methamphetamine are extremely limited and if a physician did prescribe meth the dose would be very low.
Meth is an odorless, somewhat bitter tasting white powder that the user either swallows, snorts or injects when using meth to get high. Meth also comes in a crystal form that gets heated and then smoked called crystal meth. Methamphetamine is a very popular drug of choice among many drug users because of the overwhelming euphoria and rush the individual experiences when they're getting high. When a person is high on meth they have enormous energy, their appetite decreases, they experience increased wakefulness, and they're overly happy and euphoric. Other signs of meth use you may see in a person that just started using meth would be:
- Constant non-stop talking
- Rapid movements of the eyes
- Increased body temperature
- Perspiration or sweating that has nothing to do with physical activity
If an individual has been abusing meth for a while you may notice erratic and sometimes violent behavior, the individual may be picking and scratching their body because they feel bugs crawling on them, his or her lips may be blistered from smoking crystal meth in an ice pipe that's gets very hot, bad teeth and dental problems, there may be sores and ulcerations on the face, arms, legs, and other parts of the body that sometimes become infected and severe depression. Other signs of meth abuse and addiction may include:
- Teeth grinding
- Body odor
Long term use of meth causes physical problems and damage that are sometimes irreversible. Meth causes; rapid heart rates, increased blood pressure and can cause damage to blood vessels in your brain that can produce strokes. This form of damage in the brain could be irreversible. Methamphetamine use can also cause respiratory problems and for people who use meth over a long period of time they could face cardiovascular collapse and death. Meth is a very serious man made substance that consists of toxic, poisonous and lethal chemicals that not only causes addiction, and sometimes after the first use, but is also very hard to overcome.
The euphoric rush a meth user experiences in the beginning is what causes the person to repeat the use because it's so intense but eventually an addicted meth user has to repeat the use just to feel better. After coming down from a meth high the crash can be so miserable the user has to repeat use just to function after a while. Sadly new meth users don't realize what meth addiction is like in the beginning of their use. If they knew just how hard it is to function without the drug once they're addicted, they would have never tried it in the first place.
In the beginning of meth use, very high amounts of dopamine are released in the brain and this is what causes the intense rush the meth user is seeking. Over time, meth stops increasing dopamine in the brain and starts decreasing it and the user could start having symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease.
The meth we do see throughout the United States comes from foreign or domestic superlabs and small illegal clandestine labs which are extremely dangerous to those who run the meth labs, neighbors, neighborhoods and the whole environment. Illegal meth labs can be found just about anywhere anymore. Large quantities of meth can be produced in superlabs or small one pot operations that take place in the trunk of a car.
Meth Addiction Treatment
Treatment that seems to be the most effective for methamphetamine addiction is cognitive behavioral therapy. Making positive changes in the way a person thinks, behaves and reacts can make a big difference when treating meth addiction. Treatment also needs to offer positive skills for coping with stress, this is a big reason so many people relapse. During stressful situations if positive coping skills haven't been addressed and put in place relapse can take place very easily. Meth support groups can be very helpful and affective for anyone recovering from meth addiction. Connecting with others who know what you're going through is very helpful and comforting as well. Meth addiction is treatable but it takes time, commitment and the right treatment to successfully recover.
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